Here in Florida, they are practically giving strawberries away. We had an unusually cold winter which delayed the strawberry crops. Usually in January Florida is the main strawberry provider for the country…but since they were delayed and being sold now, the same time as California strawberries, the market is saturated. Thus giving us really cheap strawberries. I’m not complaining.
This is a great light dessert. It reminds me a little of Eclair Cake because of it’s cream puff base. This has a hint of orange that gives it a fresh spring feel. Yes, more orange zest. That’s what happens when you buy a huge carton from Costco.
I actually made this for the missionaries who were helping John with the yard. I wanted to taste it but how bad would it be to give it to them with a slice missing. Lucky for me the container I sent this home with them in was a little too small so I had to cut a big piece out to make it fit. John and I gobbled it up and he said, “Why didn’t we keep more?!!”
- 2 cups or one carton of strawberries, sliced
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ⅔ cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- For the cream puff layer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen. Don’t overbeat. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (or in a pinch, you could use a 9-inch circle cake pan).
- Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Don't look at my picture. I skimmed the instructions and put it 2 inches up the side instead of one. This part can be tricky. I've found sometimes it's easier to spread with clean hands.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick pastry with a toothpick 10-12 times. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown but not overbaked (you can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with sticky dough, it still needs longer in the oven). Cool completely.
- For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar (sift if necessary)and beat with the cream cheese until mixture is smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cream puff shell.
- Top with fresh sliced strawberries. Keep in the fridge until serving. My strawberries weren't that sweet so I put the sliced strawberries in the fridge with a couple tablespoons of sugar for an hour and they made their own sauce.